The Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents (HCCH 1961 Apostille Convention) facilitates the use of public documents abroad. The purpose of the Convention is to abolish the traditional requirement of legalisation, replacing the often long and costly legalisation process with the issuance of a single Apostille certificate by a Competent Authority in the place where the document originates. The electronic Apostille Programme (e-APP) was launched in 2006 to support the electronic issuance and verification of Apostilles around the world. 

The Convention has over 125 Contracting Parties, and has become one of the most widely applied multilateral treaties in the area of legal cooperation, with several million Apostilles issued each year.

Please note that the Permanent Bureau of the HCCH has no mandate to issue or verify Apostille Certificates. Apostille Certificates can only be issued and verified by designated Competent Authorities of Contracting Parties to the 1961 Apostille Convention. A full list of Contracting Parties and the contact details of their Competent Authorities can be found here. For individuals seeking further information regarding Apostille Certificates, please contact the relevant Competent Authority.

Muster eines Apostillenzertifikats:

Erläuternde Dokumente:


Experts’ and Working Groups

Fragebögen und Antworten:

e-APP (Program elektronische Apostille)